This course will survey the main theoretical ideas in animal behavior. We will explore physiological, developmental, functional and evolutionary bases of behavior as well as issues in the study of communication and cognition. The main reading and discussion material for the course will be Dustin Rubinstein and John Alcock's textbook, “Animal Behavior” (11th Edition). Readings will also be drawn from two popular books and from journal articles in the professional scientific literature. Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions. In addition, students will give presentations and write responses to readings, including summary/critique papers on journal articles. Students will also prepare a final project on a research topic of their choosing, which will be presented to the whole class. An optional whale watch field trip will take place near the end of the semester.

This class may serve as a prerequisite for upper level animal behavior classes. It can satisfy Division I distribution requirements for MBI (Mind, Brain & Information). Cumulative Skills that you can gain if you satisfactorily complete the work of this course include Writing and Research, and Quantitative skills.